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Flix Exporter for Mac
Wildform has released Flix Exporter 4.0 for Macintosh, which offers professional quality FLV and SWF video output from multiple video applications that support the use of QuickTime plugins, including Final Cut, Discreet Cleaner, QuicktTime Pro, and Adobe After Effects. The Flix Exporter produces Flix video, which works without a streaming server, plays on all platforms and browsers and plays through firewalls as well as features convenient and customizable presets to prepare video for streaming over the Internet at any bandwidth. It can output Flash MX FLV video using the Wildform codec, with either single-pass or higher resolution two-pass VBR compression (requires QuickTime). Flix Pro's FLV video output can be played directly in the Flash Player, streamed through the Flashcom server, or imported into Macromedia Flash. It is available now for $100.
Mac mini: perfect cheap PC
The Mac mini may be the perfect inexpensive PC, according to The Detroit News. Columnist Tom Gromak says that machine may make a switcher out of any PC owner and that they won't regret it: "Hardly a week goes by that I don't get asked the same question at least once or twice: 'I need a computer, but don't want to spend a lot of money. What do you recommend?' Until a few weeks ago, my pat answer was to send those folks clicking through the Dell Web site, looking for the basic Inspiron series of PCs. Not any more. Not since one of Apple's Mac Minis took up residence on my desktop. Now, even my performance-oriented, home-built PC is getting a run for its money from Apple's latest, greatest product."
Intel\'s Mac mini knockoff?
Intel today showed off its own version of Apple's Mac mini at its Intel Developer Forum. In his speech, Vice President Don MacDonald demonstrated several concept PCs, including the Sleek Concept Entertainment PC, which resembled the Mac mini, according to CNET News.com. The square, metallic-colored Mac mini design knockoff, which is reminiscent of the Apple's recently introduced Mac, is smaller than the Mac mini, but is only a concept and it is "unlikely that Intel itself would build such a device. The chipmaker often uses its twice-yearly developer events to try to spur creativity among computer makers. Past efforts have seen PCs twisted into all sorts of shapes and even embedded in an Ottoman foot rest...Thus far, the concept PC is just a piece of plastic, literally, although its design showed a clock display and optical drive in front, with ports such as USB, optical audio and FireWire in the back."
Mac resellers close
Canadian reseller First Avenue has decided to close its doors after 20 years of servicing the Macintosh community. The reseller is scheduled to close its doors by March 25, although it has not made any public statement about the reasons behind its planned closure. A MacNN reader notes that a small sign near the cash register says that First Avenue will not be accepting new product orders or repairs, and while store employees confirmed the closing, they did not provide any additional details. First Avenue's closing comes on the heels of a similar announcement by Ottawa-based B.Mac Le Magasin Inc., which closed three of its four stores in the Montreal by September 2004. As noted, Apple plans on opening its first Canadian retail store in Toronto on May 21st and has plans for more.
iPod clicks provide detail
Users have worked out how to reprogram Apple's iPod with their own code using an ingenious acoustic trick, according to NewScientist. In an effort to install Linux on the iPod, a 17-year-old computer science student from Germany, used sound to decode to startup code on the iPod: "They adapted the component that generates clicks - or "squeaks" - as a user scrolls through the on-screen menu in order to extract vital information from the latest generation of the device. This allowed them to install an alternative operating system and make their iPods run games and other new programs." Nils Schneider constructed a soundproof box to record the iPod clicks and decoded the clicks into computer code to understand the hardware setup required to install Linux and other applications.
In brief: America Online on Wednesday said it plans to launch its redesigned Web-based e-mail service for subscribers later this week.... Security researchers have warned of two RealPlayer flaws they say could allow malicious code to automatically execute on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X systems, but said that Real had posted updates on its website to secure the player.... TrustedReviews says Apple's new Mac mini "is a master stroke by Apple".... Ableauctions.com announced today that it has joined the Apple Developer Forum in order to enhance its existing technology suite across Apple Mac OS X platforms.
iTunes growing fast
Apple has sold approximately 85 million songs in the first two months of 2005, surpassing Piper Jaffray's initial estimates for the entire March quarter. Based on Apple's earlier announcement of 300 million total tracks sold, Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster says that iTunes sales could account for $83.2 million in revenue in the March quarter--or about $35 million more than the firm has been estimating. The firm also believes average daily sales rate has been 1.35 million per day since late January, which very similar to the 1.43 million daily run rate (i.e., sales of songs) in the weeks following the holidays. "We had been anticipating a more significant drop off in iTunes sales from the levels seen in the weeks following the holidays."
FireWire Depot today announced the G-SATA and G-Drive-Mini enclosures. The G-SATA is designed to support professional content creation workflows in which performance and reliability are important. G-SATA features the latest serial ATA (SATA) disk technology for ultra high data transfer rates to 135 MB/second. G-SATA ($400-$1200) is configured with 7200 or 10,000 RPM disk drives and is available with storage capacities of 148GB, 320GB, 500GB, and 800GB. G-DRIVE mini hard drives ($120-$180) are designed people on the go. Weighing in at less than 9 oz., G-DRIVE mini allows users to travel with up to 100 GB of storage space. It is bus-powered and offers FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity.
Tiger at Bio-IT Expo
Dr. Elizabeth Kerr, Director of Science and Technology Markets at Apple, will discuss Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger at Bio-IT World Conference Expo, on May 18th. Apple says it "continues to provide innovative desktop and server solutions for research and development, offering the most robust, powerful and easy-to-use UNIX systems in the industry today." Now in its fourth major release, Mac OS X provides "a plethora of productivity, performance and usability enhancements and puts the Macintosh squarely ahead of other UNIX systems for scientific use." Dr. Kerr will demonstrate and discuss some of the latest features of the operating system, including Spotlight searching, Automator workflow automation and Xgrid-based distributed computing.
2GB USB 2.0 flash drive
Iomega today added a two-gigabyte model to its line of high-performance USB 2.0-enabled flash drives. According to Iomega, the Mini 2GB USB 2.0 flash drive can store 38 hours of music, 8,000 photos, or 3 hours of high-quality video. The new Mini includes Security Lock software for protecting sensitive data. It also features Iomega Active Disk technology, which enables portable applications to launch and run from the drive without installation on the host PC. Iomega's Mini USB 2.0 Drive weighs only 0.8 ounce (21.6 grams) and requires no cables, power adaptors or batteries. A USB 2.0 interface provides performance of up to 17 MB/sec read and 14 MB/sec write speeds. A clear viewing window on the side of the drive lets users label and personalize the contents with pictures, company logos, or file names. It is available now for $250.
VectorWorks 11.5 released
Nemetschek North America today released VectorWorks 11.5, an update to its product line that includes VectorWorks, VectorWorks ARCHITECT, VectorWorks LANDMARK, VectorWorks SPOTLIGHT, VectorWorks MECHANICAL, and RenderWorks. "The 11.5 series of VectorWorks products features many improvements in overall stability and functionality, but the highlight of this release is the new hand-drawn sketch effects which give precision 2D drawings an unconstrained, sketched appearance." Other new features include an updated Freehand tool, with new smoothing options that make it easier to create organic shapes; improved 3D snapping, new automatic lighting, a listing of recent fonts, better trimming, more accurate polygon offsets, enhanced viewports, new/improved objects, speed improvements, and improved support in RenderWorks for QuickTime VR and Piranesi.
Phew 1.0 (free) is a backup solution for Mac OS X, featuring the ability to have a different destination for every backup item, automatic calculation of backup sizes, and quick backups by only replacing changed files. "Lets face it, there's been pretty much nothing in terms of decent backup solutions for Mac without having to dig in your pockets," the developer says. [1.0MB]
EyeTV 1.7.1 is the latest version of the TV recorder with realtime MPEG-2 video encoding. Version 1.7.1 adds support for the EyeTV Wonder USB 2.0, an export preset for iMovie HD, a Japanese localization, and a firmware update that improves compatibility with various DVB-C digital cable providers. [10.2MB]
iSay 1.0 ($20) allows users to send voice email via a regular email client. iSay is integrated to work with both Apple Mail and Entourage. "Simply record your message, and then select the email program you wish to send with, and click send." [2.2MB]
iSpellcheck 1.0 (free) is a simple application that puts a small window on your screen using the built-in Apple spellchecker. It offers suggestions and dictionary lookup. [58KB]
PicMark 1.0 is a powerful tool, designed to automatically apply watermarks to large amounts of pictures. It has the ability to dynamically scan whole directories, based on filters set by the user, and quickly create watermarked versions, as well as thumbnails. [1.1MB]
disclabel 2.3 ($30) is an update to the CD labeling software. The release adds a professionally-designed, music template pack, as well as support for text kerning, Epson R320 direct-to-CD printers, CMYK images, and more. [4.9MB]
TrueCrime goes \'gold\'
Aspyr today announced that True Crime: Streets of L.A. has gone "gold" and is scheduled to begin shipping Monday, March 14. Developed by Trihedron, the title has a branching storyline that allows users to determine your next move while maneuvering through 240 square miles of L.A. "Drive, fight and shoot your way through a massive array of unpredictable missions. With stealth techniques, vicious martial arts moves and impressive new weapons, as Nick Kang you experience the gritty, seedy underbelly of a vicious Los Angeles crime wave. Cruise the city taking down or harassing the scum of the streets. Bust drug dealers and prostitutes, shakedown informants and confront gang members to get the job done." It is available for pre-order for $50.
Speed Download 3
Yazsoft has announced Speed Download 3, the latest version of its professional download manager. Speed Download 3 has been completely re-written and using Apple's Xcode with high performance and ease of use in mind. Version 3.0 introduces a new underlying network architecture using UNIX sockets, a completely redesign interface, redesigned Speed Download plug-in architecture, massive compatibility improvements, full support for files over 4GB in size, full browser cookie support, automatic auto-resuming downloads, Live activity indicator, server bookmarks, iTunes integration, and more. Speed Download 3 is available for $20 to new users, or for free to SD 2 users. Reduced prices are now available for for multiple licenses.
Mac OS updates
The research firm IDC estimates that among the 19 million Mac OS desktop and laptop installations IDC surveyed, just about half were running releases predating Mac OS X. Meanwhile, almost 21 percent of PC users were running the aging Windows 95, 98 and Millennium Edition releases. "On the Mac side, there have been far more system updates in recent years -- the downside of that being a quick sunset for older releases," Yahoo! News says. Mac OS 8 is "as dead as Windows 95, thanks to their own lack of USB support." Mac OS 9 is "slightly better in terms of software support -- there still aren't any good browsers, but you can run an old version of iTunes." Meanwhile, Mac OS X 10.0 and 10.1 "have been so badly outclassed by succeeding releases that there is no good reason to run them." Finally, Apple is giving the 2 1/2 years old Jaguar "the Windows 2000 treatment -- the current versions of its Safari Web browser and iPhoto and iLife packages require OS X 10.3 Panther."
iMac design awarded
Apple's iMac G5 has been recognized for design excellence by Design Week. Apple's Industrial Design Team is credited among "The Brightest Light[s] in Design," with the iMac G5 as the category winner. The iMac G5 is the latest iteration of the popular all-in-one computer, which has featured several groundbreaking designs since 1998. Also awarded was Priestman Goode for I Tech Dynamic. The Virtual Keyboard is created by the projection of an optical image on to a flat surface. Apple's design team was also commended for work on the iPod mini, the scaled-down version of Apple's highly successful iPod.
History of Mac OS X
Realizing that it would face stiff competition from Windows NT over the next decade, Apple in 1996 acquired NeXT and its OpenStep as a basis for its future operating system, explains MLAgazine in an article detailing the history of Apple's quest to develop an operating system for the 21st century. The article looks at the history of Mac OS X, from the scrapping of the Copland project -- in favor of the OpenStep-based Rhapsody -- to the official launch of Mac OS X on March 24th 2001. The article follows the termination of Copland, the final release of OpenStep 4.2 in 1997, the Rhapsody previews, Darwin, the renaming to Mac OS X, the Public Beta in 2000 (which became the best selling beta software ever), and the final release of Mac OS X 10.0.
iTMS tops 300 million
Apple today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 300 million songs from the iTunes Music Store. Additionally, the benefit single "Across the Universe," available exclusively on the iTunes Music Store, debuted as number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart making it the most successful exclusive digital track ever in its first week of release. "We're honored to offer "Across the Universe" exclusively on the iTunes Music Store with all proceeds going to tsunami survivors and their families," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Applications.
Lost 1984 video
In Brief: The third and final seed of the "Lost 1984 Video", available as a .torrent file for download via BitTorrent, includes the complete 90 minute TV broadcast of the Macintosh introduction in 1984 as a 425MB MPEG-4 file.... macProVideo.com today announced DVD Studio Pro 3: Complete Training ($75 before a limited time $35 discount), which includes 7 hours of video tutorials demonstrating DVD Studio Pro 3's features from a professional perspective.... Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates will be awarded an honorary knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth Wednesday for his outstanding contribution to enterprise.... Steve Jobs is again a top of Forbes.com's monthly CEO approval ratings with 95 percent approval rating in February, followed by the CEOs of IBM (95%), Dell (41%), Sun (39%), and HP (17%).
Laptop LCD screen repair
TechRestore has begun offering a flat-rate LCD screen repair service for PowerBooks and iBooks to resolve screen failure due to mechanical issues or accidental damage. The LCD screen repair program has a 24-hour turnaround time and flat-rate pricing that includes all shipping, parts and installation. Once a repair is scheduled, a RestoreBox is sent via overnight courier to the customer. The prepaid box is used to ship the customer's system to the repair facility. Within 24-hours of receipt, TechRestore says it will complete the LCD screen repair and will send the system back to the customer via overnight courier. Customers outside the U.S. can use our Self-Restore service to schedule a screen repair. The flat-rate LCD repair service price starts at $400 for iBooks and $500 for G4 PowerBooks.
periodicPod 1.0 ($9) is a new educational chemistry software designed for Mac OS X and Apple's iPod. The chemistry reference tool offers quick access to atomic properties on the iPod itself. "Due to the limitations of the current iPod screen and interface, periodicPod is a reference tool rather than a visualization tool like our Periodic Table software." [1.1MB]
fScanX 1.0.4 ($150) adds duplex scanning, direct output to PDF, compression of grayscale and color scans, and improved throughput for monochrome scans at 300dpi and lower. fScanX provides OS X native support for the Fuji fi-4120c sheet-fed document scanner, with throughput of up to 25 ppm (200dpi monochrome) and resolutions up to 600dpi RGB. It includes both end-user software and a command-line utility for use with any development environment.
MiNews 0.30 (free) updates the RSS newsreader with a streamlined and smooth interface; it sports an integrated web. It now offers an extended description of news items via an extra panel (in addition to the existing short description and full web view). It offers support for RSS 0.9, RSS 1 and RSS 2; Atom is planned to be supported shortly. [725KB]
EarthBrowser 2.5.3 ($24) offers expanded earthquake coverage showing minor US quakes, new distance measure feature activated by shift clicking on globe, and sunrise/sunset times for every city. The innovative earth simulation combines an easy-to-use navigate 3 dimensional globe with real-time weather conditions and 7 day forecasts for thousands of locations worldwide. [4.4MB]
Forms To Go 2.6 ($18) is a tool to create HTML form to email scripts in PHP, ASP and Perl. It adds support for multiple file uploads, script execution filtering by HTTP referer and IP address, support for w3 JMail and w3 Upload ASP components, SMTP authentication in ASP scripts, more credit card validation options and more. [3.3MB]
Stock Investment Guide 1.5.8 ($40) allows stock investment club members to perform NAIC-style securities analysis. The latest version adds the the ability to drag and drop stock data files to open them in the application and also allows users to override the default calculation and store the results in the ssg data file. [Classic, OSX]
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